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Help me cut down screen time

(8 Posts)
MyGastIsFlabbered Sun 12-Jul-15 19:58:51

I'm aware that over the last few months I've allowed the boys to spend far too much time playing on the phone/tablet. In my defence I've had a very bad episode of depression, split from my husband and moved.

But now I'm aware of how reliant they are and I need ways to cut it back that won't result in meltdowns, either from them or me. Please don't judge me for what's happened, I need stratagies to deal with it now. The only way I can think of is to go cold turkey, but I'm hoping there's an easier way. I need to cut down on TV too as it's always on in the background.

NorthEasterlyGale Sun 12-Jul-15 20:14:13

No judgement form me - sometimes, you need to go with whatever works.

Well, my two are a bit young for me to have had to deal with this yet, but I think I'd try something like either...

1) limiting screen time to certain times in the day, and having gadgets locked away at other times, or out of reach

2) starting with a default of say, 15 mins access per day and the ability to 'earn' more for chores / homework etc, recorded on a wallchart or something depending on age.

As for the TV, I sometimes listen to the radio through the TV so we still have the background noise and the TV is still 'on' but it's not TV. It's radio. If you know what I mean. <wanders off feeling a bit daft>

Now, hopefully someone that actually knows what they're talking about will be along soon....!

NorthEasterlyGale Sun 12-Jul-15 20:15:12

Apologies for typos. It's the end of a long day and I have beer....!

MyGastIsFlabbered Sun 12-Jul-15 20:32:12

Mine are too young too, 5 and 2. But even the 2 year old is obsessed with watching Thomas and Friends on YouTube.

NorthEasterlyGale Sun 12-Jul-15 21:27:06

Mine are 3 and 1 - Thomas / Chuggington are also popular here. This may also be fed by my fondness for building different track configuration with my their wooden trains sets. I swear my boys wanted to go to the National Rail Museum again last week and not me...honest...blush

How about getting a couple of Thomas books from the library and making a few toy trains from cardboard or something - you could then watch a little bit of Thomas on YouTube, lead it into a book and then recreate things with the toys and gradually move the emphasis to the reading / play and off YouTube?

SweepTheHalls Sun 12-Jul-15 21:29:34

Apple or Android? We have Android devices and have kids safe software on them that automatically turns it off after a set amount of time, but I am not the bad guy as the device does it all by itself grin

Keepsmiling1 Sun 12-Jul-15 21:30:28

How much do they watch it? My DD loves watching cartoons and I have just had DD2 so she has been watching more than normal! She is in nursery in the morning and then I try to make sure we go somewhere in the afternoon/visit friends/play in the garden etc then I don't feel too bad if she watches TV at tea time and before bed. Try not to feel too bad. I love watching TV/DVDs and find it a great way to relax so don't see why children shouldn't be allowed to watch it too as long as they are doing a mix of other activities too!!

LauraChant Sun 12-Jul-15 21:36:11

Mine are 7 and 5. They have a Kindle Fire and a DS which their aunty bought them.

The rule is supposedly an hour screen time a day including TV, and they can only use Kindle/DS to play games every other day. They use a cooking timer to time themselves and when the bell goes that's it.

However in practice the only thing that is definitely abided by is the only ever other day for gaming. I don't always make them turn the TV off if they are watching a film for example, and they often are. And there is much dispute over whether screentime includes watching your brother play on the Kindle. And if it does there is a fine line between watching and "helping". So it can be that they are actually on the Kindle for two hours because first one goes then the other but they are huddled together. Will have to work something out about that.

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